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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Take notice during coronavirus

Taking notice might also be called awareness or mindfulness. Taking notice can help you enjoy life more and understand yourself better, by being in the moment.

It's easy to stop noticing the world around us. It's also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living 'in our heads' - caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour

Professor Mark Williams

To combat the scary news and anxiety around it mindfulness can be invaluable at times like these. It doesn’t keep you free from disease, but it can help to:

  • calm the panic
  • be more able to protect yourself
  • be more resilient to the changes ahead

So, here are some ideas of how you might be able to incorporate ‘taking notice’ into your day.

Schedule some quiet time

Noticing or mindfulness ideally requires some quiet time, but this can be hard to find when you are stuck indoors with other people around. If you can find even 5 minutes every day without distractions to yourself to practice mindfulness, you will feel better for it.

YouTube (as always!) has loads of meditation or mindfulness videos to help you.  

Keep a gratitude diary

Our lives have suddenly got smaller and more challenging, so it’s easy to focus on what's going wrong rather than the positive things in our lives. Keeping a gratitude diary is a great way to become more appreciative of the good things in your life that you are thankful for. No matter how big or small, what are you thankful for today?

Meditate for 10 minutes

Try stilling your thoughts through a 10-minute daily meditation using apps such as Headspace or Calm.

Body scan

A body scan is where you move your attention through different parts of your body, noticing how you feel at each point. It helps to focus the mind, as well as relax the body. 

This guided podcast might help for your first attempt. 

Notice the beauty of nature

Tricky when we are indoors! But, if you can get outside for your 1 session of exercise, then really try to notice your surroundings, listen to the birds (if there are any!), recognise the changing seasons, the sun or breeze on your face.

If you can’t get outside, then spend a little time looking out of your window and notice what is going on around you. If you're working at home, you may want to see if you can move your desk or table around so that you can see outside. 

Take a lunch break

:Give yourself a proper break. Get away from your usual workspace to relax and enjoy your lunch.

When you’re eating, try focusing just on your meal. Notice the tastes, textures and flavours of your food, and take your time to enjoy it. Eating is something you do every day, but how often do you really experience and enjoy the food you eat?

To help you get started with this, try out the mindful eating masterclass

Notice the everyday

Take notice throughout your day.

You can use mindfulness when you are waiting in a very long queue at the supermarket checkout, taking a shower, washing the dishes. This all helps to interrupt the 'autopilot' mode we often engage day to day. 

Take control; take notice

Have a look at some of these suggestions on what you can do to take notice. Which ones will you try?

  • what are you going to take more notice of?
  • how are you going to remind yourself to do it? Do you need to set an alarm on your phone, for example?
  • how will you record it?
  • what 3 things are you thankful for today? Get into the habit of doing this every day.
  • if you want to do some meditation or have quiet time, when and where can you do this?

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